Biltmore Classic 15K
I ran my race yesterday and feel pretty good about it. It was slow, compared to the other runners, but I decided not to worry about it. I was a bit nervous when it appeared to be a small race. I hate small races – I do not like to stand out and when you are slow that often means running in the back by yourself. Based on last years race I expected a few hundred people… plus the website had a note “the number of entries will be limited to 750”. WOW – they were having to cap the entries… I thought. Needless to say, people did not come out. I think they changed the location from actually running on the Biltmore Estate to running at the NC Arboretum. Based on what I was hearing a lot of people were not running because of this.
I got there early to check in and warm-up. The grounds were beautiful, but I could also tell going to be very hilly. I was getting nervous and doubting I could do this. People were talking about them closing the course after an hour and a half. I read on the website two hours… I could do two hours, not 1.5. More to add to my nervousness. I decided at the last minute to get my music. I felt like it would calm me down and take the negative chatter out of my head. It did help and I am so happy that I made that decision. As with small races there is not a lot going on throughout the course.
The course was beautiful – I would like to go back there and run again. I started off strong; the first half mile or so was downhill so I did not run/walk, I just ran and happy I did. I felt good. As soon we hit the trail I hit the Gymboss for my 3:1 intervals. My plan was to run a 10 min pace for three minutes and one minute walk. For the first three miles this worked beautifully and I think I would have finished in 34 minutes if I was doing the 5K. However, I had 10K more to go!
The second loop really slowed me down. It was all uphill, steeply so… My 3:1 went out the window as all I could do was walk. My goal was to just keep moving… no stopping. There were a couple of times I just wanted to pause for a break but I didn’t. Keep moving. Some sections leveled out enough that I could run a short time, but then it would start ascending again. Nearly three miles of hills! It finally started going down and I tried to make up time. I was fearless on the downhill and felt great. I forgot, however, that there were more hills again… my quads took at bit of a beating coming down so fast so when I had to go up again it was tough. I was able to do 3:1, but not at the pace I needed to run. The last 3 miles were much slower… especially when I hit a mile long section of loose mulch! We had to run on much – it was like running on snow. I had to focus on my form and not hit the ground too heavy.
Finally we hit the final .25 mile that was on pavement. Too bad it was all uphill to the finish line. It was all I had to keep running. I wanted to finish strong.
This was a good test for me. I finished in 1 hour and 50 minutes, which is slow, I know, but considering my training I am pleased that I could do it. I know I have a lot to work on, but it showed that my strength is helping.
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